Applied Ecology and Systems Biology with a Global Impact

Big problems need big solutions Waterborne disease outbreaks are increasing in number and severity worldwide. Coinciding with the rapid expansion of the built environment, the risk of disease outbreaks in coastal regions are associated with pollutants containing microbial contaminants – including sewage and wastewater outfalls, terrestrial or agricultural runoff, and aquaculture discharge. Outbreaks of disease have led to the widespread degradation of services provided to people from marine resources that provide food, coastal protection, tourism income, and cultural value. In addition, nearly two-thirds of human infections are zoonotic, meaning they are animal pathogens that have been transmitted to humans. With an estimated 1 billion people are projected to reside in coastal zones by 2060, reducing outbreak risks in marine environments will be vital for improving human and ecosystem health.

Clean water


Using natural coastal ecosystems services to mitigate waterborne pathogens



Maintaining ecosystem health and the growth of global marine and coastal tourism

Satellite Forecasting

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Using remotely sensed data to forecast disease outbreaks

Microbial rafting


Predicting the movement and influence of hitchhiking microorganisms in the oceans

Urban Ecology

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Understanding the influence of the built environment on disease outbreaks and microbial ecology in the ocean

Sustainable Development


Balancing development and biodiversity through sustainable management practices

Food Security

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Mitigating the impacts of disease on food and aquaculture systems to improve livelihoods

Protected Areas

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Using spatial management strategies to mitigate disease in marine environments

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Engineering coastal infrastructure systems to remove pathogenic microorganisms in the ocean